This is perhaps the most important question you’ll face in the early stages of the franchising decision-making process. Without the right demographic and locale, success in business, of any kind, can be an uphill battle indeed.
But while success is never guaranteed, we do have ways of identifying the likelihood of success. In other words, we look for locations likely to support profitable franchise opportunities.
As you might imagine given the specialty nature of vomFASS stores and others like it, these ideal conditions are fairly precise. But, that’s not to say that they’re rare—just the opposite: our franchise is currently growing by leaps and bounds, in part because these ideal communities exist everywhere.
Here’s how to spot one.
At vomFASS we identify the likelihood of a successful franchise opportunity by two factors:
- Target demographic
We like to think of the ideal gourmet foods franchise customers as “Early Empty-Nesters” (the chicks have just recently flown the coop) and “Young Aspirationals,” or young professionals with high taste and the income to support it.
Typically, the vomFASS customer breaks down like this:
- He or She lives in a town with an educated populace
- 25-55 years of age
- White collar professional working at the executive level
- Has done a bit of traveling, perhaps
- Values experiential shopping (the shopping experience itself)
Now, even though we have a fairly specific profile of a gourmet foods franchise store customer, we can’t always rely on it. The fact remains, you’ll always have customers that challenge your idea of who typically shops with you. We have a saying at vomFASS, and I imagine a variation exists at other gourmet foods franchises: We’re democratic with a small ‘d’, meaning that everyone shops at vomFASS. There’s no hard rule for who’s going to walk through your door on any given day here.
For a gourmet foods franchise store to thrive, the area surrounding the store should almost always have two things. The first: foot traffic.
We define foot traffic as a high volume of people who are actively shopping—not just going to restaurants but purchasing from multiple stores upon a single visit.
Foot traffic is important because gourmet foods franchises like vomFASS typically—and deliberately—have beautiful stores, which can attract the attention of area passersby. (The cask pyramids in our storefront windows are good examples of this.)
The second thing gourmet food franchise stores need: complementary specialty stores.
Having other gourmet foods stores nearby can provide a huge support for stores like ours. Our Madison vomFASS, for example, sits within walking distance of Penzey’s Spices, Wisconsin Cutlery, and Whole Foods Market, creating a highly complementary shopping ecosystem. As you develop relationships with these other vendors you’ll naturally refer business to one another or even host joint events to target local ‘foodies’ together.
At vomFASS, we identify good fit cities based on population, which we’ve found to be somewhere between 100 to 150 thousand people. (If larger, the city’s population may actually be able to support multiple stores.)
We do not shy away from cities in which there are already, or soon to be competitor franchise stores. Although it’s tempting to shy away from competition, having multiple gourmet foods franchises is a good thing: it can raise awareness of the category itself among a population.
In which case, we all stand to benefit.
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